Within every piece of content you create, there is one common aspect that should tie it all together. It dictates the language you use, the message you convey and of course the underlying value proposition. When delivered effectively, it makes your brand highly relatable, tapping into emotive pathways in the minds of your target audience. Ultimately, it makes people want to invest in your product or service.
What is this mysterious phenomenon?
Taking many different forms, including (but not limited to) any combination of the following:
Company taglines, slogans, colourways, service standards, USPs, pricing structures, routes to market, product placement, advertising channels, sound effects, associated music, visual content and more – your brand message is unique, and is what gives your brand intrinsic value.
As an example – taglines!
Let's take a look at some famous examples of one of the above elements that is often indicative of a brand's overall message – the brand tagline/slogan:
Image source: https://www.salesforce.com
There is of course masses of work that goes into crafting a tagline, beyond simply stringing together a catchy phrase with some creative wording! They are a major factor in boldly letting the world know who you are and what you're about, whilst also spearheading the overall strategy around the brand message itself.
Your tagline therefore, must represent your brand on many levels. Things to take into consideration when brainstorming a tagline are as follows:
- Brand values
- Unique selling points
- Value proposition
- Context/product placement
- Tone of message
In combination, these not only serve to build your tagline, but also your full messaging framework across all marketing channels and content.
- Customer: your approach must begin and end with the customer in mind. Ultimately, every action you take as a business will be driven by customer desirability. Your brand messaging is no exception! View your brand from their perspective, or better yet, work to understand their wants, needs and desires in life before constructing your business altogether. If you can build a foundation on relevance and desirability in the eye of your ideal customer, and then communicate that effectively with the customer (via strong brand messaging), you're onto a winner.
- Internal: not only does your brand messaging have a defining impact on your existing and prospective customers, but it also dictates the way in which your business operates. The way your staff go about their day to day, the standards they adhere to and the manner in which they communicate will be governed by your brand messaging. What does your brand represent internally? If your internal and external messaging are incompatible, you don't have a sustainable model for growth!
- Market: when strategising brand messaging, invest a good amount of time in understanding the marketplace. What does the status quo appear to be in your industry? Maybe you want to follow that to the letter, or maybe you don't. Either way, you need an accurate perception of what your competitors are doing, what works and what doesn't – you can then establish your approach, launching your brand messaging from an advantageous position.
Brand messaging framework
Now the basics are mapped out, how do you go about weaving high-quality, consistently accurate brand messaging into business operations? How does this all come to life?
It's time to build a brand messaging framework. Throughout your business endeavours, you can frequently reference this invaluable resource and benchmark your decision making against it. Continually refining your framework as time goes on will allow you to remain at the forefront of competitiveness. It will define your approach to company taglines, slogans, colourways, service standards, USPs, pricing structures, routes to market, product placement, advertising channels, sound effects, associated music, visual content and more.
Let's get stuck in.
How to build your brand messaging framework
Open a new Word or PowerPoint document, whichever you prefer, and populate a table with the following headers and information:
- Brand promise: here, you convey your vision – what is it that you actually do, and what service does your business fulfil? Your brand promise should read well from the perspective of a customer and provide a detailed overview of your identity and offering.
- Positioning statement: alluding back to the ‘stakeholder considerations' section of this article, your positioning statement is concerned with a detailed outline of where your brand sits in the marketplace. This is important, as it will provide a solid reference point when you come to formulating internal and external brand messaging.
- Target audience: really put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. Profile them out, considering every possible detail to ensure that your brand messaging and your offering in general aligns with their wants, needs and requirements. Understand their buying criteria, their preferred method of buying, their income demographic, and their desires in life.
- Mission statement: define your own mission statement – what do you want to achieve on a broad scale? What makes up your core beliefs, ethos, and culture? Examine your business from a visionary perspective. This will provide another powerful point of reference for much-needed direction when your business accelerates its growth in future.
- Tone: does your brand represent luxury and prestige? Or perhaps more of a tongue-in-cheek or fun-filled approach would be relevant. Understanding the desired tone of your brand messaging will assist with your internal and external communications. Start with your target customer in mind – what would they respond to?
- Brand pillars: identify and describe the 3 most important selling points of your product or service. Combine key aspects from your brand promise, your positioning statement and your mission statement whilst considering the 3 stakeholder considerations we discussed earlier on – internal, external and market. Once complete, these brand pillars form the focal points of all your future marketing content.
A call to action
With your brand messaging charted in this fashion, you now have a wonderful resource from which to launch your marketing campaigns. You know what the message is, where to place it, how to portray it and who you are connecting with. Utilise this framework on a regular basis by referencing it throughout all marketing projects, with the end goal of high quality, consistent communication that maximises your desirability in the eye of your ideal customer.
Time to get to work. Good luck!